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April 24, 2019

Billy Horschel

Scott Piercy

Avondale, Louisiana

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome the defending champions of the Zurich Classic, Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes. You've had a chance to get out and see the course. With that, we'll start, Billy, with some thoughts on the course and how it's setting up this year for your game.

BILLY HORSCHEL: The course is in great shape, the best I've probably seen the greens in a while here. It's great that the greens are good, but also going into next year we're going to get new greens. The grass on the golf course is a little bit old, so it's going to make it easier for the maintenance and everyone dealing with TPC Louisiana to keep up in better shape on a regular better basis. Course is in great shape. It's playing fairly -- the greens are fairly firm and the fairways are running out a little bit, but unfortunately we're going to get that rain tomorrow.

But I like our chances again. Like I said, I mean, I love being here. I have good vibes whenever I step on this golf course. Doesn't matter what condition the course is in, I feel pretty good about our chances here this week.

THE MODERATOR: Scott, you're in the midst of a really strong season with five top 10s including your finish last week in Hilton Head. Just some thoughts on your game and the course and how you're feeling coming into the week.

SCOTT PIERCY: Yeah, I mean, coming off last week it's obviously great. Been really trying to get my game to a spot where I'm confident that all aspects are kind of working, and it's been a slow process, but it's starting to show this year. I'm excited to be back here.

Like he said, the greens are great, a little greener than normal, not quite as brown, so I think it makes the ball roll a little truer. This actually is the first time I've gotten to defend one of my wins, so I'm really actually pretty excited to do that, so I'm glad to be back.

BILLY HORSCHEL: Don't mess it up.

THE MODERATOR: Which leads me to my last question. How much after last year's success, how much of this week prior to the start of the tournament do y'all kind of get a game plan in place? What is that game plan? Are y'all looking back on what you did last year and say let's just stick with what we did last year?

SCOTT PIERCY: Well, Billy knows everything, so we just don't have to do anything.

You know, I think obviously we had a good game plan last year. Even today when we played we didn't even really talk about it. I'm going to tee off on the evens, he's going to tee off on the odds. We kind of figured out what's best for us last year, and if we can go execute, we mesh well.

BILLY HORSCHEL: There's not much strategy. We just try to do what we did last year. Maybe play a little bit better on Friday than we did. But we were fortunate enough that we had a great strategy last year. We've got a great stats guy, and there was nothing that needed to be changed from last year, just try and play better.

He told us to take out the back-to-back doubles this year. There was one thing he didn't like about last year when we made back-to-back doubles on Friday's opening round on 3 and 4, so he said get rid of those and you guys are good to go.

THE MODERATOR: One of the more forgettable stats for sure. We'll open it up to a few questions.

Q. I was curious, how much in this team format does chemistry play a part? Is it any at all or is it just basically play good golf and you really don't worry about chemistry in terms of the partnership?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I think chemistry helps. Do you need it to play good team golf, no, but I think if you do have a good strong chemistry with somebody and get along and there's a good mojo between you two, I think it can only enhance the teamwork type deal, just wanting to play -- we all want to play great for our teammates, but it just sort of enhances that team aspect of it.

You've seen throughout the years, chemistry is not -- you don't need it, but the guys, the teams that are great teams in Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups have great team chemistry.

SCOTT PIERCY: I'll say as an individual stroke-play event, this hasn't been my favorite course, but a lot of the shots that I haven't liked, Billy hits. And they're mainly on odd holes. For me, the chemistry that I feel from Billy's vibe here, because he likes it so much, I'll say that it picks me up, and it makes me feel good because some of the shots that I really don't like, he really loves.

And so the shots that I'm sort of responsible for, like I can really get up for those, and so like his vibe here kind of picks me vibe up. So the chemistry -- that's the kind of chemistry that I feel. He's riding cloud 9 around this place. He loves it. So it's nice to get on that cloud with him. Where typically in an individual, like there's a lot of shots out here that I don't like to hit, but being a team event and being able to do that, it really helps me get around this place with a lot more enthusiasm.

Q. And I was going to ask you about your workload coming in because it seems like this is your fifth straight start. Scott, I think last week was your first start in like a month or so. I was just curious how the energy level difference is amongst you two right now.
BILLY HORSCHEL: I'm a little tired. This is my fifth straight week. It's also my ninth out of ten, so I'm running -- I feel physically decent. I'm a little tired. Mentally I'm a little frustrated. I've felt like I've played some really good golf over the last nine weeks. Unfortunately haven't had the results I've wanted, but I know my game is in a good spot. Knowing when I set my schedule that this was going to be nine out of ten, I was going to have Scott as a partner, it was going to be more of a sort of low-key easier week type deal, enjoyable week, as it is always here, and it made it a lot easier setting the schedule that way.

But yeah, I'm looking forward to two weeks off. It's been, like I said, a long nine out of ten for me.

SCOTT PIERCY: You know, I feel pretty good, to be quite honest. You know, I try to stay pretty even keel, and hopefully I sometimes can bring Billy down to just try to relax and have fun instead of he can get over -- a little too excited sometimes. So that's why I think the chemistry, too, we're kind of polar opposites and we kind of meet in the middle. You know, hopefully him being a little tired or whatever, he can relax and not have to press as hard and not have to -- just kind of let it flow instead of kind of forcing the issue.

But it was nice to be off for a month. I've never done that in the middle of the season. I should do it more often. I'm trying to figure out where the next month comes.

I was able to work on my game being at home. I feel like I can work on it better at home, and you just don't get those multiple weeks in a row when you can do that, and I was able to figure some things out, and chilled last week.

Q. I want to ask you a little bit about the course itself. The TPC of Louisiana and this golf tournament kind of has a reputation where golf is side by side with nature. I know that's nothing new to you guys, you Florida Gators, but we've seen over the years alligators drift and wander onto the course. There's that shot of Rickie Fowler a couple years ago giving a gator a tap. A couple years ago, there was a three-legged alligator named Tripod sneaking up on a volunteer. Can you maybe talk a little bit about the course, about the nature that you see, and what do you think about being this close to nature as you're playing golf?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I grew up where my dad was not a big fan of houses on a golf course. Just too close to the fairway or to the course, and to jam next to each other where you're shaking hands in the shower with your next door neighbor type deal. So it's nice to play a course where you don't see any houses. It's just a course -- similar to a course where I grew up, the Habitat of Valkaria, where there's no houses on the golf course. It's just there in the woods it was cut out, and if you miss the fairway you're in bushes type deal. Very similar here, just with lakes and everything. Just a nice change from maybe playing courses where there's houses galore all over the place.

SCOTT PIERCY: You know, for me, I try to stay away from the gators. They don't have those on the West Coast. You know, I think that's part of the fun about coming to different cities, especially New Orleans, is that you have the good food, you know there's gators involved. That's what makes it fun, and everybody likes to see a gator -- we see gators in Florida, but it just seems like it's different here, "look at the gators." Even in the pro-am, all the guys that have played here 10 years in a row, they're still enamored by saying a gator 10 yards away from us, so it's fun.

BILLY HORSCHEL: A lot of people worry about the gators. I'm more worried about the water moccasins type deal. Those are some nasty snakes. So I tell people, the gators are more or less leave yourself alone. They're more scared of you. But a water moccasin is a different story.

Q. What's your walk-up song and who made the decision this week?
BILLY HORSCHEL: We went to the same song as last year. He chose it last year, Jay-Z, Young Forever, Forever Young by Jay-Z.

I asked him if he wanted to switch it up, and he's like, it worked last year. I said, that's fine. Whatever puts him at a nice --

SCOTT PIERCY: I'm getting old, you know, so Forever Young, that's a great song for me. Stay young, right?

BILLY HORSCHEL: It puts him in a good rhythm before we tee off, which is all that matters.

Q. I was just curious, you talked about kind of the mental refreshing because I think this is obviously different than the regular stroke play. When you look at that, do you feel like that's a nice way to kind of have a break from the stroke-play events, and would you like to see maybe a few more events turn into different formats?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I think it's a great break to have an event like this, a team format. When Zurich did it or when they announced it three years ago, four years ago now, I think everyone was really excited. It's something that's been talked about for a while on TOUR. Do we need more of it? Just like in anything in life, you more you have, the more you dilute the product, the more it doesn't have that exciting feel for it. So I'd say leave this as only one type deal.

At the same time when you look at the other unfortunate aspects that the TOUR try to work around and try to do everything the right way, winning last year was great for us, got a lot of FedExCup points and everything. The one thing I think we wish we would have been able to get is World Ranking points from it, but it's tough to do World Ranking points with a team event. They've got to figure that all out.

SCOTT PIERCY: Augusta for me would have been nice.

BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, you don't get it at Augusta, either. There's pros and cons and everything, but like I said, I think if you have more of something, you start to dilute the intention of what you're trying to get out of it.

Q. Last year you guys got a nice trophy but you also got a belt each. Can you tell us what you've done with that, if you've worn it anywhere or if it's on display in your house somewhere?
SCOTT PIERCY: It's just on a shelf in my house, to be honest.

BILLY HORSCHEL: Just like any of my trophies, I don't know where they are. My wife takes care of that.

SCOTT PIERCY: That's an awfully big belt to wear out, come on now.

BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, it is.

SCOTT PIERCY: I think if you wear that belt out, that's all you wear is just the belt.

BILLY HORSCHEL: No, I think it's somewhere in my house where my wife puts all my other stuff, somewhere in one of our -- I don't know, if I had my way, all my trophies would be in a box in the attic or storage type deal.

If we were smart enough, we would have thought about that type deal.

SCOTT PIERCY: We don't claim to be smart.

BILLY HORSCHEL: No, not at all.

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